As part of our ongoing water level management we have been replacing the old leaking sluice gates. The new sluice will allow us to accurately control water levels to ensure sufficient water for breeding birds such as lapwings and a balance of grassland species.
Everything was especially made for the job. The sluice boards are an integral part of the system and oak is regarded at the best material. Luckily, here at Holkham we have been working closely with the Joinery Workshop to help construct these precisely cut boards using oak felled on the Estate.
The boards were made to measure.
Before the shiny new sluice gate could be fitted the old one had to be removed, no easy (or clean) task! Dams were built either side of the sluice and the water pumped out. This allowed us to easily cut the old sluice free. The new specially built sluice frame was installed and precisely positioned to allow accurate water control. Hessian sacks filled with concrete were used to construct a water tight wall around the frame. Finally the oak boards were slotted into place to create a water tight seal. These boards come in various heights to allow us to set the water level depending on the season.
A huge eel wiggles away as the water is pumped out.
RIP old sluice, you served us well.
The new frame was delicately put in place.
Hessian sacks filled with concrete ready to go.
With it complete we retreated to higher ground to survey our handy work.
Not bad if I say so myself!
A long but successful days work.